McCarthy awarded expansion project at Port Freeport’s Velasco Terminal

Port Freeport, Texas. Credit: McCarthy Building Companies

McCarthy Building Companies has been awarded the Velasco Container Terminal expansion project at Port Freeport, Texas. The Velasco Terminal expansion, which includes Berth 8, features more than 282 m of berth extension and will accommodate post-Panamax gantry cranes.  

Construction is scheduled to begin in December with the new infrastructure being fully operational by August 2022.  

The scope of work includes demolition of existing concrete relieving platform, excavation, combi-wall bulkhead, new wharf, wharf piling, dredging, revetment, fenders, electrical, and crane rail installation. McCarthy will self-perform all aspects of the project except for dredging, electrical, and crane rail installation. 

There is approximately 29,200 tonnes of steel piling on this project and one of the biggest challenges is that the piles have extremely tight driving tolerances that will require a three-story template to ensure accurate alignment. In addition to the piles, 60,000 tonnes of revetment rock is to be placed in between the piles. Extreme care will be taken during the placement of the revetment rock to ensure that the new piles are not damaged. Further, the new berth will be constructed while maintaining access to the existing Berth 7 and close co-ordination is required while vessels are docked at Berth 7,” McCarthy stated. 

The new berth will be dredged to 16 m, matching the depth of the Freeport Harbour Channel Improvement Project, which will handle newer, larger container vessels transiting the expanded Panama Canal and will be equipped to handle about 1.5 million lifts per year.